We spend a lot of time talking about dieting. And reaching a healthy weight. Or reaching health in general. But the fact is, that’s only the start. Once you reach it, you need to maintain it. And unfortunately, many people do not. Hence the dieting industry can be quite a lucrative business as people go from one diet to the next as they lose and then find the weight they once lost.
This is not a joke! Nutritionists, or at least us realistic nutritionists here at The Balanced Nutritionist, love pizza, cheese, and chocolate…. among other things you may think are ‘not nutritionist-approved.’
The 85/15 rule
You see, life is for living and it’s what you do most of the time that matters. Life’s little indulgences are to be enjoyed… mindfully… in amounts that don’t make you feel ill or guilty but still allow the tastebuds a tantalizing experience.
The All or Nothing Approach does not work
The ‘all or nothing’ approach is the alternative. And this fails the ‘long term’ test. All or nothing results in periods of being insanely strict, therefore feeling deprived, often hungry, miserable, and unhappy. A period of ‘nothing’ inevitably follows where one gives up on their nutrition altogether, eats whatever they want, enters a cycle of extreme guilt, feels sick and miserable and eventually ends up back in the ‘all’ stage which is miserable for other reasons! That’s why we as realistic nutritionists believe in balance. You should also refer to our Food Philosophy.
-We often don’t talk about food during consults. We often talk about thoughts, feelings, and emotions associated with food…
-We want to know what YOUR goals are. And then we’ll guide you to get there.
If you’re looking for support from realistic, and human nutritionists to regain health and happiness… particularly post lockdown, we are operating 6 days a week, by Skype/zoom and phone for new clients. Book online or phone(07) 3063 2710.Oh also… are you stuck for healthy, fast, fresh recipes right now? Request a copy of our eBook developed during lockdown! send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org subject line ‘ebook please.’
If you enjoyed this blog, you will love our latest podcasts around realistic weight loss and mindset for maintenance.
Katie, Nicole, Michelle, Karma, and Billie.
On the weekend, we provided comments for an article in the Courier-Mail, on this very topic ‘staying healthy whilst working from home’. Since your working environment may have changed dramatically recently, here are some tips for staying healthy despite the change to routine:
- If you’re used to packing a healthy lunch each day continue to do this every morning before you actually start work. If you don’t prepare something healthy in advance, you’ll go to the fridge mindlessly at lunchtime and be more inclined to choose something less healthy… or even Uber eats instead!
- Keep a large glass of water at your desk and continually sip throughout the day. Topping up gives you a chance to stretch your legs, gets the blood pumping and gives you a moment to refocus. If you don’t stay hydrated you may mistake hunger for thirst. Plus you’ll feel lethargic and might even get a headache.
- If you’re in an exercise pattern already, keep it the same! Don’t promise yourself you will ‘just do it later’ because chances are you won’t. Slot it in as normal. And if it’s not part of your routine, then with all the extra time you have minus commuting… Why not make it a habit from now?
- Stock on up fresh veggies to use as a base for salads or lunchtime wraps and fruit for snacking. There are amply supplies of fresh products at your local fruit and veg markets. It’s the supermarkets that have been cleaned out. Support the little guys. And stocking up on pasta and confectionery has no benefits right now or ever for that matter.
- As the weather cools, consider popping something rich in nutrients into a slow cooker first thing in the morning. It will be ready in time for lunch. vegetable-rich dishes with either pulses or some form of meat protein are a great, healthy and filling option. Keep an eye on our Facebook page as we will be sharing heaps of recipe ideas over the coming weeks.
- Actually, eat proper meals. If you get into the habit of skipping lunch altogether, you will be hungry and you’ll go for quick snack foods high in sugar continuously for fast pick me ups and you’ll only come crashing down again.
From personal experience (keeping it real as always) the hardest part about working from home is avoiding mindless eating as a result of procrastination. To avoid this, it’s best to make sure you don’t have temptations lying around – like chocolates, chips, and biscuits. Apps that boost productivity are really handy as well. For example, the Pomodoro app is a free download on your computer that encourages you to focus for 25 minutes at a time and then allows you a 5-minute break. Psychologically it works! It’s like having a robot boss on your computer keeping you accountable to your work and stopping you from mindlessly walking to the kitchen!
We hope that helps. If it’s business as usual for you (but from home instead) and you’d like to seize this opportunity to work on your general health, reach out and book an appointment here – we are still operating by Skype / in clinic 6 days a week.
- Firstly, Nicole will only be seeing her clients via Skype, Zoom or phone effective from now until the foreseeable future. If you are a client of Nicole’s, but you’d prefer to see someone face to face, I can take over your care for now. Otherwise, Nicole can still care for you just as effectively by any of these methods and you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your lounge room.
- I will continue to provide consults in clinic OR by Skype / Zoom/phone depending on your preference. There is mass communication already circulating in relation to best practice when it comes to face to face interactions; I won’t add to this as I trust that we have had this drilled into us from all angles.
- Roughly 40% of our current client base is from other states including Victoria, NSW, WA and even NZ. So please rest assured; we are well set up and experienced at providing our consulting services via Skype / Zoom or phone and assure you that the effectiveness of treatment will not be compromised.
- Should you wish to move your upcoming appointment to Skype / Zoom or phone, you can either phone ((07) 3063 2710) or email us (hit reply) now OR inform Michelle when she contacts you for confirmation. Confirmations will be done 4 days in advance from this point forward to allow for scheduling changes etc.
- We are able to post orders for supplements via express postal services should you prefer an online appointment or simply need to restock and don’t want to call into the clinic.
- On a final note, if you are experiencing financial hardship due to a sudden change in employment or similar, BUT you really require our services please reach out so we can see what we can offer you during these times.
- Local fruit and vegetable stores and even IGAs seem to be really well stocked with beautiful fresh produce as do local butchers. I can personally vouch for Lorenti’s fruit market, Greenslopes IGA, and England and Allsop Butcher Coorparoo. The supermarkets are being wiped clean so support these little guys; less crowded and better quality, fresh food. This is the food that will support you right now; not the pasta and confectionery being wiped out of the bigger stores.
- Please drink your 2L (minimum) of pure water daily. Please. Even though it is getting cooler, you still need it!
- Fresh air helps. Even if it’s just from your own backyard. I’ve upped the length of my dog walks to well over an hour a day to enjoy the sunshine, capture some vitamin D and keep moving generally. If gyms are forced to close you can continue with bodyweight strength exercises and even yoga/pilates via computer apps from home.
- You can generally support your immune system naturally with nutrients like vitamin C, zinc and even some herbal products. Please ask for individual advice at your next consult. We will be suggesting immune support to all our clients at the end of consultations from this point forward; as a professional duty of care. Note that some herbs are contraindicated in certain health conditions and immune support for pregnancy is particularly specialized so do ask. No, these products won’t cure Coronavirus – but they could reduce your susceptibility to catching things in the first place.
Many people in our industry are focusing on ‘sensationalized’ results. Let’s face it – the idea of a quick, easy, instant fix is far more enticing than the thought of slow, gradual change, right? But the truth is, as we repeatedly say, there is no magic pill or potion. Lifelong health is the sum of healthy habits you develop repeatedly over time and do consistently.
Why lifelong health? Aren’t you getting a bit sick of following the latest craze? Or getting confused about this week’s article on what’s good for you according to the newspaper? Or riding the merry go round of self sabotage every time you ‘break’ your diet, so you may as well give up all together?
Our specialty is working with people to develop these habits so that they can walk away and continue with lifelong health… instead of seeing the next Nutritionist in a year’s time.
The good news is though, that to achieve lifelong health, it’s what we do 85% of the time that counts. The other 15% is called wine and cheese. 85% of the time, we want GOOD habits. Start with making small changes to your habits… because it will add up to a really big change overall, eventually. The other 15% is Christmas, birthdays, work stuff that got in the way and life generally.
So in order to feel great inside and out, you do not have to be perfect every single day. The reality is…. None of us will be perfect day in, day out.
You need to understand and accept this…. Otherwise, every time you are ‘not perfect’ you’ll just self sabotage and give up on everything all together!
Does this sound familiar?
A few weeks back on Facebook we shared some totally outrageous ‘small changes’ we recommend you make daily…. Did you catch them? They’re simpler than you may think….Here are our top 5 habits to start working on daily in order to get on your way towards lifelong health.
- Drink Water. Daily. At least 2L.
- Move More than you are right now. Daily.
- Sleep well. And if you aren’t get some help on this. Its critical.
- Eat your veggies. Like life depends on it.
- Ditch the white stuff (that’s sugar… not potatoes).
Do you think you could work on these 5 daily habits consistently until they become… habits? It would be a huge step towards lifelong health. Book a consultation if accountability and further guidance is what you need.
So you’re wondering about all of those little bottles that stare back at you in the supermarket claiming to cure all ailments from dodgy stomachs, to stubborn cellulite, to acne-prone skin?
Fear not. We are here to hold your hand through the noise and tell you the absolute MUST drink beverage for 2020. We love it SO MUCH that we even have this beverage available in the clinic for you when you book your appointment.
This beverage will:
- help you to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
- help you stay regular ‘down there’
- help to prevent you from overeating
- help with inflammation of the joints and ligaments by providing lubrication
- flush out body waste (a trendy way of saying this is ‘detoxing’ your body)
- help make your skin GLOW
- help to boost your energy
- help you to get a good night’s sleep
Geez. You must be thinking right now, I bet if it does all of those things… it must be a bit exy right?
Well actually….. its completely FREE! It comes straight from the tap, and we are NOT getting enough of it! You can see Lexi the Lab demonstrating just how delicious and irresistible WATER truly is!
Ahhhh. Sorry about that. Just another truth buster team, its what we do best here at The Balanced Nutritionist.
Seriously BEFORE you turn to ANY expensive super beverages you need to absolutely ensure that you are drinking at least 2L of pure water each and every single day. MORE if you are male and broad because quite simply you have even more cells than an average person to hydrate.
Ph: (07) 3063 2710 for queries / appointments.
We’ve been told for decades that we should reduce our salt intake, but what if salt is actually good for you?
Salt (or sodium chloride, as it’s scientifically called) is made up of about 40% sodium and 60% chloride. The words ‘salt’ and ‘sodium’ are often used interchangeably, as salt is the highest dietary source of sodium, however, sodium is also found naturally in foods, such as seafood, spinach, celery and beetroot.
Sodium is an essential nutrient that is required for the normal functioning of our body:
- Our bodies use salt to balance the amount of fluid in our tissues and blood.
- Salt facilitates nerve and muscle function and helps to maintain healthy blood pressure.
- The chloride in salt is used to produce hydrochloric acid, which helps to break down food in our stomach and helps absorb nutrients.
- Adequate amounts of salt are necessary for thyroid and adrenal function.
- Salt also plays an important role in food preservation.
In fact, it’s impossible to live a life without any salt – it’s essential to life!
Our bodies constantly lose salt through bodily functions, like sweating, so it must be replaced. But it’s all about balance – consuming too much sodium (particularly refined salt) may lead to oedema (swelling), increased blood pressure, and other conditions.
And salt isn’t just salt – your standard white table salt is considerably different from the salts you find in nature.
Table salt is a refined form of natural salt that has been processed; heated to extreme temperatures which change its structure and destroys many beneficial compounds; bleached white; treated with chemicals to remove all trace minerals. The problem is that these trace minerals are essential for our body and our health.
Unfortunately, it’s this refined salt that is used in most packaged and processed foods, like breads, processed meats, soups and sauces, and salty snacks.
Refined table salt is not a health ‘food’ and should be limited in your diet.
So, what’s the healthiest salt?
Choose an unrefined salt that is found in nature. Unrefined natural salts contain sodium and chloride as well as other essential minerals that act as important electrolytes in the body.
Pink Himalayan salt comes from ancient seabeds in the Himalayan mountains. Himalayan salt is rich in minerals, in fact, it contains all 84 essential trace elements required by your body. Its pink colour comes from the rich iron content.
Celtic Sea salt is an unprocessed, natural salt from the coastal regions in France near the Celtic Sea. Unlike regular, refined table salt, Celtic Sea salt retains the beneficial trace minerals and nutrients, like potassium and magnesium, needed by the human body.
Murray River salt flakes are produced from using the mineralised brines from the ancient saline aquifers of the Murray Darling Basin. The brine is pumped into shallow lake beds and dried out in the sun, leaving layers of salt to be harvested. As well as sodium, Murray River salt contains other important minerals (magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium and iodine).
Similarly, unrefined sea salt is produced by pumping seawater into ponds and allowing the water to evaporate leaving salt to crystallize on the floor of the pond. It is then scooped up, washed in seawater, dried and packaged.
Australian Pink Lake salt comes from a lake in Western Victoria. The lake is fed by natural salt aquifers and dries out each summer to reveal a bed of salmon coloured pink salt. This natural salt is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulphur, iron, manganese, zinc and copper.
How much salt should you have?
The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends a suggested dietary target of 2,000mg of sodium (which is equivalent to about 5 grams or 1 teaspoon of salt) for adults daily. But it’s easy to get much more than this when you are eating a lot of processed and packaged foods.
About 75% of the salt we eat comes from processed foods, rather than from salt added to cooking and foods.
On the other hand, eating a mostly real, whole food diet – consisting of lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, quality protein, healthy fats, whole grains, legumes, raw nuts and seeds, and water – will naturally help to keep your daily salt intake within a healthy range.
Listen to your body… When you are eating a mostly real food diet you can let your taste buds guide your salt intake. Salt your food as you cook, keep the sea salt grinder on the table and enjoy fermented foods (such as pickles and sauerkraut).
The take-home message… Salt is an essential nutrient. Avoid refined salt, limit your intake processed/packaged foods (which contain high levels of refined salt), and use an unrefined, natural salt to taste.
And remember that you may need more salt on days when you are sweating a lot and/or drinking lots of water.
*Note: If you have hypertension or kidney disease, please consult your health care practitioner before you make any changes to your consumption of salt.
Its approaching ‘that time of the year’ where we are inclined to sit down, reflect and set some ginormous goals to achieve in the first 2 weeks of January 2020.
Well, perhaps it’s not exactly like that, but by nature we do tend to consider that come January 1 we will morph into a completely different human capable of totally different things. And this is not all bad… but it’s also not entirely realistic.
The very term ‘new years resolution’ sadly reeks of failure and when it comes to setting ‘health’ resolutions its no different. A lot of gyms receive a new influx of regular ‘donors’ come January, don’t they?
Look, we don’t want to discourage anyone from wanting to be a kinder, more healthy, happier human year on year, BUT let’s do it in a way that will set you up for success and help you achieve your goals for 2020 day by day. And then above all else, maintain those ‘goals’ once attained.
So instead of worrying about another year and another new years resolution, why not sit down and think about some habits you could change come the new year to better your health and happiness. We love the definition of healthy habits put forward by Healthline. A healthy habit is any behavior that benefits your physical, mental, and emotional health. In turn, it improves your overall well-being and makes you feel good.
How awesome is that?
Perhaps the BEST thing about a healthy habit is the very fact that it has evolved into… a habit. A habit is something you do regularly, often without even thinking about it, that is really difficult to give up. So once a habit is created… it’s really hard to break!
How great would it be if we all ended up with a whole heap of new, healthy habits by the end of 2020?
Breaking habits is certainly hard so of course creating them can be a challenge and require a change of mindset. That’s why we created a little eBook to help you, step by step, to create some of your own healthy habits for next year. Download your healthy habits eBook to get prepared now.Healthy Habits eBook
This is a self directed challenge. And what’s even groovier is that at the end of the month, you could simply print off a new copy and consider some different habits to build into your life for February. Think about where you might be at the end of the year? While you’re at it, we recommend you read a copy of Gretchen Rubin’s the Happiness Project because, in some ways, this little challenge was inspired by that book.
And if you do jump on board our little happiness challenge, make sure you give us a few shoutouts on social media ok? Use the hashtag #thebalancednutritionisthealthyhabits and tag us @thebalancednutritionist too.
And above all, remember, its all about the 85/15 rule. I.e. work on your habits and try to follow them 85% of the time. There are going to be times when the whole wagon falls apart…. not just the wheels! And that’s ok. Put it back together and get back into routine. This is called balance.
So, this is our completely non faddish, sustainable twist on ‘new years resolutions’ instead of the empty promises that are being shouted out to you from every other angle folks.
Who would love if being healthy becomes a habit… Not a chore?
Merry December folks and wishing you a ‘healthy habit filled’ January!
It’s certainly not as boring as you might think! We love Christmas, we love food and we love it when people feel happy and healthy.
Here are some simple tips for having a great festive season, without going overboard.
- Whilst we are all for a piece of plum pudding or a lovely dessert here and there, don’t let it slip into becoming an ‘every night in December’ type routine. There are some beautiful fruits around at this time of year – enjoy them. You can even blend up fruits like mango with a bit of yoghurt and make your own ‘nice blocks.’
- Just like the before mentioned point. Here’s a really bad idea. Ride the entire month on a sugar induced high of rum balls, boxed chocolates and chips on the side of every work lunch you attend for the next 3 weeks.
OR continue to put in a little time each day to ensure you get some quality PROTEIN with each and every one of your meals and consciously choose to indulge a couple of times throughout the month instead. Protein will REALLY help you feel fuller and resist every little temptation that your little nose whiffs in the air this festive season.
- Water. Water. Water. Stay hydrated peeps. Less water leads to cravings, more alcohol and too much caffeine. Just drink the clear stuff. And for every champagne, wash it down with a glass of pure water afterwards.
- Don’t skimp on the green stuff. Most people seem to think vegetables have to be bland and boring. There’s a little eBook available to download below. It has a few little tricks in there to make salads and vegies just a little more interesting like…. did you know you can actually roast cauliflower? Also, how mindblowingly yum do fresh herbs make ANY dish taste? And you know there are other oils besides extra virgin you can use to dress a salad? Oh and don’t get us started on adding FRUIT to salad. YUM.
- Remember that its always OK to say no. This may apply directly to nutrition but it’s also a simple reminder that the holiday season is supposed to be just that… a holiday. Remember you can say no to gatherings that won’t serve you, another drink if you don’t want one, a party that you’re simply too tired for….no. Its a powerful little word and it can still be used politely.
- Try to keep up some form of exercise routine. And it doesn’t have to be the sweaty kind, it might be yoga, a gentle walk or even a paddle in the pool. Movement will assist you:
-make better choices when it comes to food this festive season
-may assist you to remain hydrated if exercise reminds you to drink as you feel thirsty
-most importantly, provides a social outlet and some way to manage any additional stress you may be feeling. We know how important exercise can be for mental wellbeing.
- Breathe. Remember that Christmas is just 1 day. And the time between Christmas and New year is just a week. What’s more important is what you do for the rest of the year. Don’t punish yourself if you feel like you have gone overboard. Just get back on the wagon. Its what we do most of the time that matters.
Oh and finally, for your healthiest and happiest 2020, you might want to consider jumping on our healthy habits challenge for January. Keep an eye on Facebook for how to go about joining in.
And here’s a little Christmas gift for you – our Christmas recipe eBook for some festive inspiration. Click on the button to download A Merry Balanced Christmas eBook
The metabolism is a fascinating thing. Our bodies have evolved to do all kinds of cool things in order to guarantee our survival. Look after the body optimally, the way its supposed to be nurtured and chances are it will be behave as it should in return. But in this crazy world we live in, with more stress, more food, less movement, more technology and less nature than ever before…. things can get a little confusing.
Metabolism is a very complex concept, but let’s focus on 2 terms only for this blog. These are ‘metabolic flexibility’ and ‘lipolysis.’ These are two terms we speak with our clients about quite regularly so we thought we’d share them on the blog today. Let’s start with ‘metabolic flexibility.’
Our bodies utilize two different forms of fuel for energy and survival and ideally, switch between both as required. The first fuel source is glucose and the second is fatty acids – essentially stored fat. Metabolic flexibility is essentially a fancy way of saying that the body can efficiently and comfortably switch between both as required. Consider that shortly after you eat a meal, carbohydrates will be more readily available thus the body will utilize glucose for energy. However, many hours later or say overnight, provided that meal was not too large, the body may switch into a fat burning mode instead. If we consider the evolution of human life, metabolic flexibility makes a lot of sense. Thousands of years ago, food availability varied with the seasons. There were times of feast and famine. The ability of the body to switch between these two mechanisms would have been a must for survival of the species.
Now a days, things aren’t so. Consume a diet of wholefoods, not in excess and you can loosely recreate a similar pattern – switching the body between fat and carbohydrate burning. However, overeating, the over consumption of highly processed carbohydrates, high cortisol, little or no movement, consistent snacking…. well all of these factors may mean the body is rarely forced into a fat burning state because instead, it has a steady supply of carbohydrates to keep it fueled.
Here at the Balanced Nutritionist, we are ‘pro’ metabolic flexibility. We think it makes sense on many levels – particularly when we consider human evolution. Many engage in debate over whether carbohydrate burning has any validity and instead believe our fat burning pathways should be constantly ‘on’ but we take a more balanced view on this. However, that debate is not the main purpose of this article.
Instead, let’s focus on our second concept, ‘lipolysis.’ Lipolysis is the fancy term to describe the mobilisation and break down of fatty acid cells for energy. Put simply, some degree of lipolysis is important for healthy weight management and certainly for fat loss. Yet, some find it difficult, even when they drastically reduce their food intake, to activate lipolysis, which essentially means they can’t seem to shift body fat.
This brings us to the crux of today’s article. You see there are two main conditions that need to be met in order for lipolysis to take place:
- Blood sugar, or glucose levels need to be relatively low. If blood sugar levels are high, the body will continue to use this as a fuel source instead and fat burning will not take place. So if someone has higher than normal blood sugar levels, say because they are prediabetic or insulin resistant, their capacity to burn fat for fuel will be low.
- Insulin levels must also be low. Insulin is one smart hormone. It is actually capable of blocking the enzymes responsible for making fat burning happen. Once again, prediabetes or poorly controlled diabetes or anyone with insulin resistance is likely to have high insulin levels fairly consistently, thus posing another challenge to fat burning. (note: fasting blood sugar levels can appear well controlled on blood tests, but corresponding insulin levels may still be elevated. It is possible and sometimes indicated, to have both fasting blood sugar levels and insulin levels tested to obtain a full picture).
Now, these hormones can be elevated for obvious reasons. Overeating, the consumption of junk food, consistent snacking between meals etc. will all drive both blood sugar and therefore insulin levels up as well. But, for those with insulin resistant conditions, these two hormones can be triggered extremely easily, even by seemingly healthy meal choices. Crux of the story? Lipolysis can be incredibly challenging for anyone with blood sugar and insulin regulation issues. You may even consume a seemingly perfect diet and not overeat, but still have difficulty achieving lipolysis and metabolic flexibility.
We wrote this blog because many of our clients find that understanding this concept really helps them understand fat loss better. We hope it brings some clarity to you as well. If you are concerned about your perceived ‘lack of’ metabolic flexibility, here are some tips that we’ll close on:
- Make sure your meals contain protein. That they aren’t purely carbohydrates on a plate. E.g. a sandwich with vegemite? Note going to cut it for lunch.
- Make sure you eat proper meals, with a break in between of at least 4 hours to allow time to digest and time for blood sugar and insulin levels to decrease.
- ensure that breaks are actual breaks; remember anything with flavour (including tea and coffee) has the ability to trigger a hormonal response in the body i.e. stimulate blood sugar levels.
- Move more. Exercise does stimulate lipolysis. But its also natural for us to move. We are designed to eat and move not eat and be sedentary.
- Don’t eat a really large meal at night especially one with dessert. The overnight ‘fast’ we naturally attain when we sleep is a good opportunity for fat burning.
- Drink water. Not sugary crap. Plus, being hydrated increases the efficiency of the body on all levels.
- Finally, if you are still struggling with weight management or fat loss to a healthy range, consult a professional as insulin resistant conditions require tailored advice.